Of all the mass-market drug store brands, Olay takes its anti-aging ingredients seriously. Its signature ingredient is carnosine, used in the Regenerist range and now in the new and (relatively) pricey Professional Pro-X products.

Recent studies suggest carnosine acts as a natural anti-glycation molecule. Glycation has been long regarded as a major cause of aging and is believed to be the main culprit behind deep wrinkling, the thinning of skin and the mottled appearance of age spots.

I can't recommend Olay Professional Pro-X Wrinkle Smoothing Cream ($40) for the simple reason that I haven't used it. However, I do think it looks worth checking out. In addition to carnosine, there is niacinamide, which is another Olay regular (you'll find it, for example in Olay Total Effects Eye Treatment). Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 and a precurser of the co-enzymes NADH and NADPH. These enzymes are essential for cell energy production and lipid synthesis. Unfortunately, levels decline with age. Fortunately, niancinamide is proven to reverse that decline. Niacinamide is also very helpful for moisture retention. And, according a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology, it “significantly decreased hyperpigmentation and increased skin lightness” after four weeks of use.

My guess is that the Olay Pro-X range justifies its prices (Olay is usually under $20) with the addition of peptides, specifically palmitoyl dipeptide-7 and palmitoyl pentapeptide-4. And with good reason. Palmitoyl pentapeptide-4 is Matrixyl, a peptide that does have some data behind it to suggest that it gets results.

Ingredients in Olay Professional Pro-X Wrinkle Smoothing Cream

Water, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Niacinamide, Isohexadecane, Isopropyl Isostearate, Dimethiconol, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Palmitoyl Dipeptide 7, Carnosine, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide 4, Elastin, C13 14 Isoparaffin, Stearyl Alcohol, Polyacrylamide, PEG 100 Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Cetyl Alcohol, Benzyl Alcohol, Behenyl Alcohol, Polymethylsilsequioxane, Sucrose Polycottonseedate, Laureth 7, Stearic Acid, PEG 4 Dilaurate, PEG 4 Laurate, Decyl Glucoside, Titanium Dioxide, Tin Oxide, Lactic Acid, Citric Acid, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Disodium EDTA, Ammonium Polyacrylate, Mica.